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Anfernee Simons: Pacers Game Was “Step in the Right Direction”

Portland’s shooting guard liked his team’s execution.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Indiana Pacers Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Portland Trail Blazers lost another winnable game on Friday night (I’m getting tired of that intro, too), succumbing to the Indiana Pacers 108-99. The team missed its last 13 field goal attempts in regulation, going cold at just the wrong time.

Trail Blazers guard Anfernee Simons, who led both team in scoring with 20 points, said to reporters after the game that execution was not the problem this time.

I mean, obviously every game not the same. I think different teams throw different things at you – at the end of the game, especially, you know, in certain situations. So, I don’t think it’s the exact same but, for the most part, I think this game was a step in the right direction in terms of our execution. Obviously, I had that late-game turnover but other than that our execution was much better than before, we just didn’t make shots. I think the games before our execution wasn’t good down the stretch, and I think we’re building towards actually executing at the end of the game and that’s going to lead to us making shots eventually at the end of those games.

The Trail Blazers, now sitting at .500 (19-19), have lost six of their last eight contests. Their only wins in that stretch came against the Charlotte Hornets and Detroit Pistons.

If they’re going to continue on pace to be a playoff team in the Western Conference, they need to start winning games against average or better opponents. That comes with execution leading to makes, which we just haven’t seen lately.